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Biopunk Dystopias Genetic Engineering, Society and Science Fiction$
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Lars Schmeink

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781781383766

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781383766.001.0001

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date: 23 April 2019

Individuality, Choice, and Genetic Manipulation

Individuality, Choice, and Genetic Manipulation

(p.146) 5 Individuality, Choice, and Genetic Manipulation
Biopunk Dystopias Genetic Engineering, Society and Science Fiction

Lars Schmeink

Liverpool University Press

Chapter 5 deals with the personal consequences of a posthuman subjectivity and the task of identity creation. In liquid modernity, risks and threats are becoming ever more global but remain systemic, while at the same time the solutions to these issues is relegated to the individual. The existence of a noticeable gap between society's insistence on individuality, autonomy, and self-assertion and the systemic risks to this claim, caused by a globalized flow of information, technology and politics, is thus the argument of the analysis of the video game BioShock. Science fiction as a genre here allows for the extrapolation and exaggeration of this gap by employing the posthuman as an extreme possibility of human identity creation. The dystopian imagination provides a bleak emphasis of the science-fictional dimension of consequence in terms of this development, by providing an alternative history in which rampant individualism meets an extreme form of consumer society. The human body has become the battleground of liquid modern desires to form and consume identities. Further, the medium uniquely provides the specific ideological commentary on the systemic nature of the illusion of autonomy, especially in liquid modern consumer society.

Keywords:   Individualization, Life-politics, Liquid modernity, BioShock, Video game theory, Consumer society

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